I'll go on to do great things
For Simon, who told me,
“How was your day” shouldn’t start with a list of things you did. It should start with a sense of how you felt, regardless of the items on that list.
Don’t tell me I’ll go on to do great things. Because I know what that means. It means achieving society’s definition of success. Wealth. Power. Fame.
Don’t tell me I’ll go on to do great things. I’d rather not. Because society didn’t include “satisfied with life” in its definition of success. It didn’t frame a quaint town, a family of five, and the enjoyment of The Small Things.
“No,” said Society. “That is not how we function!”
You can’t have the small stroll along a public park on a Tuesday evening when you can own a mansion in a forest as you go to an exclusive party atop a rooftop in your helicopter.
“No,” Society keeps screaming. “Strolls in a public park aren’t as glamorous!!
But you’d rather I sent you a video of a night’s glide on a rooftop paradise with all the light, smoke, and mirrors. You’d rather I sent you that than a selfie lying down in the park with a book in my hand below a quiet willow tree at dusk.
Why? So you can point at me and say ‘I know that guy’? No. I think it’s because you genuinely want me to succeed. You genuinely want me living my life to the fullest. But to the fullest of which? A Capitalist propaganda or a Hollywood cliché?
Life is not light, smoke, and mirrors. Life is not all those nights spent awake until sunrise. Life is quite simply (and I can’t stress the simply enough) what and how each of us wants it to be.
Everyone gets their definition. Any expectations come from personal life equations. So don’t go plugging numbers into mine. Don’t go telling me I’ll amount to “great” thing$. Because then I’ll spend all this time solving for a wrong value, adding up hours working for a dream that is actually obtainable, but that I don’t want to reach.
So if you’re searching for a compliment, don’t say I’ll go on to do great things. Consider asking what I think… I want… my life… to be.
I’ll be honest. If you ask me this, I probably won’t know. Also, my answer might change depending on my mood. But still ask me. Make me reflect on what I really want in life.
If you do this, I swear, when I sit down in that small town with a book in my hand as I stroll down a public park on the way to my husband and three kids to fashion a meal from yesterday’s reheated leftovers, I’ll think of you. And that’s all that should, and is ever, going to matter.